As 2023 ends and we celebrate the holiday season with friends and family, it is hard not to be grateful for the last year at the Otsego Community Foundation. Our programming and grants helped preserve Otsego County’s natural resources, assisted high school graduates in taking steps closer to their career goals, inspired creativity, and beautified downtown Gaylord, to name a few. Each year, YOU help us fulfill our mission of activating generosity for a stronger community.  

This is the perfect time of year to contribute to the OCF. Not sure what type of donation is best for you? Here are six ways to make the most of your year-end giving: 

1. Give early and complete your gift by December 31st. A gift by check is complete when mailed (postmarked) by December 31st. Gifts by credit card are complete when your credit card account is charged. Are you someone who finishes their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve? Don’t worry! You can donate online up until 11:59 p.m. on December 31st.

2. Give in someone’s honor. Do you have a hard-to-buy-for relative who also loves Otsego County? Make a donation in their name or honor instead of giving them a sweater they’ll never wear or a small appliance that will gather dust. Whether the gift is to your own Donor-Advised Fund or one of the other OCF funds, be sure your gift is postmarked or submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31. If you would like your recipient to receive a card notifying them of the gift, please make your donation by December 20th, 2023. When mailing your gift, please include the gift recipient’s name and contact information. 

3. Consider gifting stock. Do you want to give your stocks some purpose and save on your taxes? Gifting appreciated stock that you have held for more than a year allows you to deduct the full fair market value on the date of the gift while avoiding paying capital gains tax. The gift may be contributed to a Donor-Advised Fund, which can be used over time to support nonprofit organizations and charitable causes you care about. 

4. Give with your retirement plan. If you are 70 1/2 or older, you can make a gift from your IRA account to the OCF for the causes you care about. Gifts made from your IRA (up to $100,000 per year) are not taxable income. If you are 72 or older in the year of the distribution, your gift qualifies towards your RMD. If you are married, your spouse can also make a gift of up to $100,000 from his or her IRA, for a total of $200,000.

5. Bunch multiple years’ gifts into a Donor-Advised Fund. With the increased standard deduction ($13,850 for individuals, $27,700 for couples for 2023), it may be difficult for some people to receive a tax benefit from charitable giving every year. When you bunch your charitable donations, you’re able to combine multiple years’ worth of contributions into a single tax year. By doing this, you can exceed the standard deduction limit, itemize your deductions, and reduce your taxable income more effectively. You’ll get the full tax deduction now while spreading out grants to your favorite charities over time and benefiting from the larger standard deduction in those later years. We can set up a Donor-Advised Fund for you in one meeting.  

6. Let the Community Foundation do the legwork. This is what we do. We help put your charitable dollars to work in a way that is meaningful to you. We help you connect to what matters. Working with us gives you access to our extensive knowledge of the local nonprofit community and the needs of our county. We’re here to help you achieve your charitable goals.  

Dates and Deadlines

So that we can provide the best possible service and ensure your charitable gifts qualify for a charitable income tax deduction in the 2023 tax year, please keep these important dates in mind:

Gifts of appreciated securities (stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, etc.) must be received by the end of the day on December 29, 2023.

Checks sent via the U.S. Postal Service must be postmarked on or before December 31, 2023. Make checks payable to the Otsego Community Foundation. Please note the fund name in the memo line. Please mail checks to:

Otsego Community Foundation, PO Box 344, Gaylord, MI 49734

Wire transfers of cash must be received no later than 1:00 p.m. on December 29, 2023.

Online gifts may be made until December 31, 2023.

Year-end Office Hours

The OCF staff is ready to help you complete your year-end giving. Please note that the office will be closed starting December 26th and reopening Tuesday, January 1st. If you need assistance during this time, please email Dana Bensinger at or call 989-370-0693.